Cycle Tour Tour in the Alps 2013
Dag 7: Grainau - Schwangau
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Added on 25 Aug 2013
on 31 Aug 2020
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by Ottocolor on 18 Nov 2013
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Grainau рыбный завод, Bayern, DE (721 m NHN)
Schwangau, Bayern, DE (786 m NHN)
05 Aug 2013
Another sunny and very hot day.
Münchner Straße 151
Along big roads into Garmisch and further to Farchant. From there on good and beautiful gravel paths through meadows in the Loisach-valley. After the village of Eschenlohe on the Bodensee-Königssee-bikeroute. Bad stretch through the forests with fording of a small river. Trouble finding the route after Trauchgau, so we went on the trunkroad B17 for a while. In the end a nice tarmaced bike lane to the camp site.
After Sunday's rest day it was time for a bike day again. Along the river Loisach to Eschenlohe, then uphill to the spa town of Bad Kohlgrub and through large forests to Eastern Allgäu. Many climbs through the woods. The stage's goal was again a camp site, namely camping Bannwaldsee, about 10 km to the north east from Füssen.
Today it was Monday and thus all the shops at the shopping center opposite the camp site were open. But I needed only a single one, Edeka, for shopping for breakfast and lunch. The sun shone from a cloudless sky again, and I was looking forward to today's stage, which was going to be particularly scenic, but also with some climbs as we left the Loisach river valley, we were in now. After breakfast we said goodbye to the German motorcyclists and rolled toward Garmisch -Partenkirchen. Soon we hit the town, and as it was Monday morning, traffic was brisk. At a war memorial we briefly lost touch with each other. The plan was to find a bicycle mechanic, as Simons rear wheel had lost quite a few spokes now and I knew that in the vast forests later in the day there was no chance of getting his rear wheel repaired. Camping daddy had given me a tip for a bike shop, but he was not interested in the job. In stead I got a new place to look out for. Fortunately, it was in the right direction. The center of Garmisch was a jumble of cars and people on foot and bicycles. In the midst of it all we saw a pharmacy, so finally I could buy a tube of baby ointment for Simon. The bike mechanic was quite an experience. The most important thing was that he immediately began to disconnect the rear wheel in order to put new spokes in it. He talked like a waterfall and I got a lot to know about cycling in Werdenfelser Land, as he called the area around here. Simon sat on an old couch by the window and waited patiently. In between customers popped in, who evidently all knew our bike doctor pretty well, because they all got tips about this and that, so the morning passed before Simon's bike was ready and the bill paid. A fair price it was, but, nevertheless, spendings continued to rain down on my head. My money was already spent, even though I had withdrawn as much as 200 €, a little under DKK 1500, the morning before. Unbelievable! But fairly enough, we had been on the Zugspitze, eaten at a restaurant and now had repaired a bicycle. Plus baby cream ! Well, an cash dispenser could do for now, and then I had to solve things back home. It was great to get out in the sun again after the close bike shop. I wanted to bike 10-15 miles more before we ate our sandwiches. So far it went along the cycle paths along major roads to the north. Certainly there was a beautiful path down along the river Loisach,which valley we still followed, but this was faster. When I stopped to take a picture of a beautiful alpine house with flowers in window boxes, which are all over here, Simon spotted a bicycle sign. It pointed down to the valley and towards Eschenlohe where we wanted to go, so that was great. Now began a very nice trip through some large meadows where cattle was grazing. The surface was a rough gravel track, so we didn't go fast. In addition, it had grown really hot. Fortunately, there were many trees to provide shade and the river gurgled right next to us.
Our arrival in Eschenlohe was very welcome. We were both very hungry and the heat in the valley was almost unbearable. The small town seemed to take a nap, because we didn't see many people. First stop was at a beautiful covered bridge over the river, but we were more interested in finding store where we could buy drinks and a bank where I could withdraw money. Then we sat in the shade under a tree at the cozy little square just off a well and dived into our lunch boxes. Rarely has food tasted better. After lunch, we were actually more inclined to have a look at the town and we also tried to get into the pretty church with onion dome on the tower, but it was locked. Not even here there was life, but we also had better get a move on, because it was still far to the target, and there were some good climbs ahead. But it's always so nice and cool inside a church, and we needed to cool down. Instead I put my head in the well on the square, and that also helped with getting rid of my excess heat. What a summer!
Now the question was how to get out of town and onto the Lake Constance to Königssee - bike route which we were to follow the rest of the day. Luckily I found a sign pointing in the right dircetion. It was also the road to the highway, but as soon as we had crossed it, we were in the countryside. Here it was flat and hot as there was no shade. Only green meadows with grazing cows. Soon came a beautiful stretch on a deserted road with almost no traffic and here began the big forests that would follow us almost all day. It went upwards only slightly, as we followed a side valley of the Loisach valley. It also had a river at the bottom, which we followed, but the water ran against us, so it was still a climb. In the small village of Grafenaschau we held a rest on a bench and emptied our bidons. We could always fill them up in the river, I thought, for water was quite indispensable. As we sat on the bench, I was utterly silly and equipped my helmet with two sticks, I poked into the vent holes. Then I put it on and played reindeer. Simon found me embarrassing. And probably he was right, when a mother with her little boy walked by. The boy also had a helmet on, and I told him I had antlers on my helmet. "You don't have antlers", I foolishly remarked, and his mother probably worried that they might have run into a lunatic who had escaped from an insane asylum. It must have been the heat that made me delirious. Perhaps it was also the prospect of the climb ahead, because now we went upwards all the way to Bad Kohlgrub, the last piece even really steep. But then we were on the busy main street in the spa town, brimming with life. Here I spotted a wooden open water canal, into which I immediately plunged my head and drank greedily. Simon did not think it was good enough and yelled at me through the traffic noise that I would get sick of it. Maybe he was just not thirsty enough, but he did fill his water bottle. Ahead we could see the church, where we wanted to make a coffee break. In Denmark a church always renders a possibility to fill ones bidon from the tap in the cemetery, but in Germany, especially in towns and cities, there may not be any cemetery, or the water is not for drinking, as they use rainwater to water the plants. So you must take your chanc to get water, especially during such a heat wave. The coffee break was lovely on a bench beneath the church. There was a small shopping plaza with many people. But I cooked coffee and we ate cakes, and we took no notice of them. I knew we would soon be out in the big woods again, so some company now was not out of the way.
On the way to the church in Bad Kohlgrub, I had lost track of the bike route and did not have the energy to try to find back to it. The heat was intense, and we were both longed for a little fresh air in the faces. In this way, cycling is always a relief, because you create your own air-conditioning when cycling. As long as it does not go sharply uphill. But the worst climb lay behind us, so we rolled out onto the main road towards Saulgrub where I later would find the Bodensee-Königssee-cycleroute again. The signposting of this route, which according to biroto.eu is Europe's most popular cycling route, is okay. Not more. But I trusted the signs to show up in Saulgrub. The road to it on the main road was not nice in heavy traffic, but then came a bike path, which in turn would clearly lead us astray. They had built a modern and very bike friendly road junction before the town, and with the help of the map I had printed from biroto I managed to find into it. Here a gps device had really helped, but we did not go wrong, just spent some time checking if we were on the right track. Inside Saulgrub the road went sharpish downhill, and Simon took on the descent, but I was nervous to miss the bike route sign, so I asked him to hold back his speed. Luckily, the sign, which pointed off the road and into a beautiful woodland, stood right where I expected it. So had they not completely lost the skill of map reading. Now it was piece of cake to follow the route which, moreover, was really nice through a huge forest. For several hours we cycled on a forest road, which at times was quite bumpy due to rainwater tracks. Once it crossed a river at a ford, where we had to wheel our bikes through the water. Here we also filled our water bottles. Shortly after Simon had a puncture, but that was rapidly patched. More ominous was my rear tires look. Several places the layer under the profile layer was shining through and I decided to change it at the first opportunity. It could appropriately be on the rest day tomorrow. But for now it did well. There were no tough climbs in the woods, but it was constantly going up slightly. That fact plus the bad road plus the puncture made that strech take a little longer than planned. So when we came to the road to the famous pilgrimage church of Wies, which I had planned a visit at, we were not sure if we were going to take the about six kilometres of detour and risk that the church was closed already. That is, Simon was not in doubt. Churches are not exactly his cup of tea, so he wanted to go down to our stage goal as quickly as possible. But Wies is so lavishly decorated, a feast of Baroque art, that it is almost world famous. Well, Simon was right, so we rode on on the bike trail. Shortly after we met a local who believed that the church was always open. My main reason for skipping it had been fears that it was closed, so now I wanted to return. But I could see in Simon's face that he did not fancy it. And when you are two on a trip, you must of course abide by each other, so we went straight forward again. To go up here by bike again in the morning on the rest day did not seem realistic. We had other plans then like a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle plus the tyre change.
Now the forest eventually terminated and we rode on tarmac again. Furthermore, it went downhill at breakneck speed through some quaint tiny villages with lush green alpine meadows between. Unfortunately, we lost the scent of the cycle route again, so we made a little detour. Furthermore, we drove past a petrol station with shop in Trauchgau, although we lacked to shop for dinner. I should have listened to Simon, who had noticed it, but I cycled doggedly on, because I thought there would be a supermarket in Halblech, a little further down the road. But here there was no shop open any longer. This was the last village before the campsite, so we cycled back to the petrol station in Trauchgau. As if we had not cycled far enough today. Fortunately, the store was excellent and we got everything we needed to cook dinner on the cookers. Now it was not far to Camping Bannwaldsee any longer, but we gave up trying to find the bike route and cycled on the main road to Fussen. Not so pleasant, but it went quickly forward. A few kilometers before the end we caught sight of the bike path down to the right. It approached the road and we crossed over on it. Now the campground lay right ahead on the shores of the lake of Bannwaldsee. The reception was humming with people, and I heard several campers being denied access. They were fully occupied. Fortunately, they could well squeeze our tent in among the others on the lake shore, and we were really very grateful about that. We thought we had cycled far enough today. A camp ground employee on a bike went in front of us down to the lake shore. The road was rather circuitous, so we were also happy about that. Less pleasant was the receipt by our tent neighbours, an Israeli family, who saw their privacy endagered by our arrival. This unkindness I reacted to with some further hostility, prompting Simon to criticize me. He thought that we had to abide by their desire and pull the tent a little further away, but we had been told to take the place by camping daddy's man, so we had a right to it. We ended up having to put up our tent as far from the Israelis as possible, that was right next to a couple of small trees that stood directly in front of the small beach on the lakeshore. The bathing jetty and the beach were full of bathing people and children playing, and Simon and I looked forward to plunge into the blue waves, as soon as the tent was pitched. And so we did. Now that was wonderful. After our bath dusk was falling and we were still hungry for dinner. Since there was no table on the lakeshore, we cycled up to the square with the large restaurant with a beer garden and asked if we were allowed to cook our food in the beer garden if we bought our drinks with them. They agreed to that, and soon we had dinner cooking in the pans. Very simple food, but it tasted heavenly. Simon had taken his tent lamp, so we could see our food, for it was quite dark where we were sitting. But then we did not arouse much attention, what suited me perfectly. After dinner we did the dishes in the very large cleaning room, where there was a huge chest freezer to chill our freezer packs. I must say it was quite a luxurious place, we had come to. Everything seemed new and beautiful made of excellent materials. Out in the beer garden they had made a ramp for bikes up to the road, there were many flower beds, flower pots and hanging baskets plus a maypole with all sorts of coats of arms. And then of course the beer garden. It was a perfect summer evening, warm and quiet. So I got me a weissbier while Simon was reading his book. It was late before we packed all the things and rolled down to our tent by the lake shore again. Our contentious tent neighbours had gone to bed, so we did without further inconsistencies. Now we also just wanted to stretch our tired bodies on our mats in the sleeping bags.